Let’s improve college media coverage of rape, domestic violence

I’m happy to be among of group of College Media Association members who will sponsor a meeting at the New York convention March 10 to discuss coverage of rape and domestic violence.

If you’re at NYC13, I hope you’ll join us. If not, stay tuned. And feel free to contact me anytime (Twitter: @adviserdavid or comment on this blog).

Here’s the invitation CMA President David Swartzlander posted on the CMA listserv, with some links I inserted:


If you’re a student or adviser attending NYC13, we’d like to invite you to an open discussion about improving college media coverage of rape and domestic violence at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Conference Room J. 

The events of just the past year at places like Amherst, Carolina and Oklahoma State underscore the importance of these topics. 

Student journalists too often struggle against a huge learning curve, obstructionist authorities and uncertainty of how and whether to sustain coverage over time. On the other hand, these topics present opportunities to talk to our audience about something they care about and to actually help prevent harm. We can point out every fall that new students are most likely to be raped in the first weeks of the semester. We can encourage students to examine the attitudes that may underlie intimate partner violence.


Student media at the colleges mentioned and elsewhere have done great work. Our friends at the Student Press Law Center have been engaged. And now a University of Massachusetts class is partnering with Huffington Post to research “best practices” for reporting on rape.

So how do we build on the momentum and improve coverage of these issues? Let’s kick around some ideas, big or small. For example: Can grant money be found to stage a conference to provide training and resources to student journalists? Can that be leveraged into a committed core group of student journalists who provide serious coverage of rape and domestic violence throughout the year? Can that group be supported, advised and publicized?

You need not bring a proposal, just your interest.

I hope to see many of you at NYC13 as well as this session.


About adviserdavid

Student media director, Georgia Southern University

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Ethics, Leadership, Reporting, What to cover. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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